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Now you're almost three
When my little boy was born I remember hearing or reading a post (I don't remember all that well) about a mum who writes a letter to their child each Birthday. Even for those early Birthdays when her child couldn't read yet, there was a letter for them to pick up when they got older. Knowing that holding onto memories with my little boy was so important to me, even from those very first moments, I felt I had to do the same and write to my little boy. Well, that was the plan anyway, but I let life get in the way and tiredness took over.
Almost three years later, I'm finally going to write that letter and to make sure I do, I've decided to share it with you. So, here goes:
To my first born at three,
I think it's safe to say that your third year wasn't anything like I'd hoped or planned. We had our holiday cancelled, we didn't make all of the day trips we would have liked and we missed out on seeing family and friends. There were a lot of times that I felt guilty for not having done more to find you friends before the pandemic, or not getting you out more when restrictions allowed. Despite all of that, you've still given me a year which I'll remember for so much more than CVD-19.
I'll remember all of the water. Even though your swimming lessons were cancelled along with your run to the coffee shop upstairs for a juice afterwards, you found plenty of other excuses to play with water. There was lots of tipping at your little kitchen along with more floor soakings than I want to count, hours at your water table through the summer and a big fascination with our hosepipe. You might have preferred time in the paddling pool to time in the bath for a few too many months, but at least you stopped crashing mummy and daddy's showers for a bit.
I'll remember the bin days. Spending a day every other week at the window with you for the chance to see the bin lorry, only for you to leave the waving to mummy. You demanding to put the bins straight away and getting annoyed when the neighbours didn't do the same. Sorting all of the recycling and playing with toy rubbish trucks.
I'll remember the puzzles. Not for putting them together, you haven't had the patience for that yet. Instead I spent far too long packing them away after you covering the floor with the pieces from playing cement mixers with your play tunnel.
I'll remember the tea breaks. What started as a chance for mummy to sit down became an everyday occurrence. You got hooked on tea, don't worry we bought you decaf, and custard cream biscuits. You had to help make drinks and always said yours was too hot for ages later, even with loads of milk.
I'll remember you helping at the CCC farm. Lockdowns might have kept us away, but when you got back you got stuck in. You eventually made friends with the emus and gave them showers with the hose and fed them from the scoop. You found the best place to play in the hay barn, crawling through a hole and playing with Violet the cat. You made the lambs milk with Grampy and mopped up the floor if any was spilt keeping Grampy out of trouble.
I'll remember you learning about daddy at work. You shutting the door on him when he was talking to his colleagues, whispering to me that he was on a call. Then when the study was free you'd sit in there at the desk telling me you were on a call yourself.
I'll remember introducing you to films. You might not have been on board at the start, but before long you watched some films so many times it drove me crazy. At least we finally got past Spy Cat and moved on to some far better choices with Cat in the Hat, Garfield and Paddington. Not forgetting your current favourite Wall-E, I just don't know if you like singing the song at the start the most or seeing all the rubbish.
I'll remember you discovering YouTube. What started off as innocently watching a song about cement mixers and Tractor Ted as recommended by a friend turned into hours of watching. From rubbish collection compilations, to laying cement, harvests, mucking out at farms and finally discovering Blippi. We'd watch until our TV thought we'd forgotten about it.
I'll remember the lack of sleep. The long walks I took you on for you to decide to drop your naps and the hours it took to settle you in bed. Reading The Tiger Who Came to Tea and Simon Sock until I knew the words while you still didn't sleep. Putting you in a toddler bed for you to spend weeks getting out to join mummy and daddy. Going back to not sleeping now because you say your room is too loud and still refusing to let daddy do bed time.
I'll remember the harvests. Taking you to CCC for the hay harvest and Grandma and Papa's farm for the maize. You were fascinated with all the machinery while it was working hard out in the field, but didn't want to know when it stopped.
I'll remember having more time with some friends again, only for you to always decide you didn't want to walk. Hiding in your pushchair but smiling about it all after.
I'll remember dancing to the Tiger who Came to Tea song, spinning you around until my arms hurt. You taking pasta and rice from the cupboard so that you could cook, just for it to end up on the floor. Playing shops in your playhouse, selling ice cream and running away with the money from the till. The times we did get to gymnastics,you swinging on the bars and getting a Costa after. The phone calls to Grandma in the bath and the tours around the house for your grandparents.
Most of all, I'll remember your third year for getting your best friend, Teddy the cat. Teddy might not be the lap cat you wanted, but you love him all the same. You play together, tip water together, run around the house after each other, annoy each other but still, you like each other's company.
It might have been tough living through a year mostly about a pandemic, but I couldn't be more proud of you. You've given me all these memories, and more, and grown into a kind, caring, energetic and funny boy who I'm beyond proud of. You might be lacking in some confidence now, but I'll be there with you every step on the way to help you find it again.
Love you always,